A recent survey has shown that the average person opens 47 doors every day. This amounts to 329 every week and over 17,000 each year! With so much activity, it’s no surprise that door handles play an important role in our day to day lives.
The humble door knob can add character to a front door and is one of the first things a visitor to your home will see, and touch. So, if you’re looking at investing in cool DIY custom timber door handles, this article is for you.
We will take you through the process of sourcing materials, designing, making and installing your very own wooden handles, something that all budding handymen should love.
Sourcing Materials for your Door Handles
We love Southern Mahogany as our timber of choice. It is a large, fast-growing species indigenous to coastal south eastern Australia and is hard, strong dense and durable, with an even texture. This makes it great for door knobs. You can find Southern Mahogany at a range of suppliers around Australia.
A 35mm wooden board will suffice if you’re just making one handle, half a dozen 100mm screws, wood glue and wood paint. You’ll also need a scroll saw, sand paper, drill (with drill bits) and safety glasses.
Designing your Handles
First you need to decide upon what you want the handles to look like. For inspiration, go to Pinterest or another similar website.
Once you’ve chosen this, use a digital design program to create your drawings or renderings. Autodesk is a great program to do this and has a lot of tutorials to help you. Kicking off with an image you want to recreate can make the process easier, as you can use this as a background image in the software and go from there. On completion of the designs, print these and cut them out.
Timber Preparation and Cutting
Trace the designs around the piece of wood and use the scroll saw to cut the timber along the line. Be sure to apply pressure only lightly when cutting.
If all this sounds quite daunting already, you may want to employ the services of a wood turning specialist who can make you custom timber door handles of any shape or size. We recommend Peter Lorimer from Traditional Turnings who is based in Melbourne.
Smooth the Wooden Handles
Once you’ve finished cutting out the parts, use the sandpaper (or a sanding machine) to smooth over all the surfaces. Pay particular attention to the edges.
Painting the Knobs
Stir the paint thoroughly and ensure the wooden pieces are dust-free. Then apply your first coat of paint. Once dry, use fine sandpaper once more. Then apply two more coats.
Decide where upon the door you will be installing the handle, factoring in where any keyholes or latches may go (if necessary). In pencil, mark the areas where you will need to drill holes, then create a test hole with the 3mm drill bit. If you’re happy, commence with the 6mm option.
Repeat the same process with the handles, drilling a 3mm test hole then following up with the actual 6mm hole. Then add glue to the wooden spacers and screw the handles into position.
Once dry, you can start using them right away. Good luck and have fun!